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Making Dreams Come True

air date: June 23, 2018

Graphic designer James Barela grew his creative pursuits with plants. As a renter, he relies on containers, which led to designing his own and launching the beautiful Baetanical how-to blog and online shop. See what motivates his artistic union of plant and container. On tour, Ashley Romero and Juan De los Rios (@omgrowngarden) started growing a dream on a tiny apartment balcony. Discover the passion that led them to 6 acres of their own. Daphne features a viewer’s video to hand-pollinate squash and pumpkins. And find out how to grow hummingbird-fave native rock penstemon. Daniel Cunningham from Dallas Texas A&M AgriLife Research Water University paints and covers homemade rain barrels to style up saving water from a rainy day.

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Episode Segments

On Tour

From Balcony to Farm: Ashley Romero & Juan De los Rios

Ashley Romero and Juan De los Rios started growing a dream on a tiny apartment balcony. Discover the passion that led them to 6 acres of their own @omgrowngarden.

Watch more "On Tour" videos on YouTube →

Interview

Original Container Design with James Barela

Graphic designer James Barela grew his creative pursuits with plants. As a renter, he relies on containers, which led to designing his own and launching the beautiful Baetanical how-to blog and online shop. See what motivates his artistic union of plant and container.

Watch more CTG Interview videos on YouTube →

Question of the Week

How do I hand pollinate squash, pumpkins and cucumbers?

We thank Jeanine Starkenberg in Venus, Texas for sending a fabulous video of how she and her grandkids Brody and Piper pollinated their pumpkin patch by transferring pollen from the male flowers to the female ones!

Hand pollination may be necessary if there aren’t enough pollinators around to do the job naturally. Or, you might also have to lend a hand if you’ve had to cover your plants with row cover to keep out insects like squash vine borers, thus limiting access by pollinators as well.

If the flowers aren’t properly pollinated, very few seeds will be produced, which will inhibit the fruit from developing properly. Squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, and many other fruit of all types, produce a lot of seeds in each fully-developed fruit. So a lower pollination rate will mean a lower number of seeds, which will mean smaller fruit, or maybe none at all. The fruit may start to develop, but without enough seeds, will remain small, or even be dropped by the plant to conserve resources, before it gets very far along.

Hand pollination ensures that quite a bit of pollen is transferred from a male flower to a female flower, and more pollen means fertilization of more embryos, which will lead to more seeds and a better reason for the plant to expend resources on that fruit.

Watch more Question of the Week videos on YouTube →

Plant of the Week

Rock Penstemon

Rock Penstemon

Penstemon baccharifolius

Perennial rock penstemon is an extremely xeric perennial that grows to about 1.5’ tall and wide in full sun to part shade. Native to areas with rocky limestone outcrops and virtually non-existent soil, it will not last long in good, fertile soil or heavy clay. But if you’ve installed a dry creek bed or rain garden, with mostly rock, or if you’ve installed xeric areas with decomposed granite or gravel and elevated berms, you can be successful with this gorgeous plant. Many people are installing these types of areas now, and many of our viewers that live in western areas naturally have the perfect rocky setting for this and other xeric plants to thrive. Water sparingly in extreme drought. Blooming spring through summer, rock penstemon’s bright red tubular flowers attract hummingbirds. It dies to the ground most winters. Even if it doesn’t, shearing completely each year, in very early spring, will reinvigorate the plant and encourage more vigorous and robust growth. Not deer resistant.

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